Anemopsis californica

 
 
 
 
 

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My Flora Picture of 2011: Gurcharan Singh the Anemopsis californica: I am taking this liberty of uploading my second Flora Picture of 2011, a photograph I badly wanted to include in my book but could not because I had misplaced this folder of our first outing in California to Shoreline Park. Today I found this while scanning though my external storage drives.

The plant, Anemopsis californica (Nutt.) Hook. & Arn. of family Saururaceae, commonly known as Yerba mansa or apache-beads, the only species in the genus and endemic to California growing in coastal marshy areas, belonging to paleoherb complex, the early basal branch of angiosperms. Hickey & Taylor (1996) who proposed herbaceous origin hypothesis believe that flowers of Piperaceae (another paleoherb family) and Anemopsis arose through suppression of system of inflorescence axis of gnetopsids. In the above photograph the flower-like structure is in fact a fragrant spike inflorescence subtended at base by involucral bracts looking like petals. The small flowers number 75-150 on spike and each has white orbicular 4-6 mm long bract adnate to ovary, usually six stamens and 3 united carpels with parietal placentation and brown capsule fruit.

The aromatic stoloniferous stock was once fashioned into cylindrical necklace by American Indiands and hence the name apache beads. more commonly known as Yerba (supposed to stand for herb in Spanish) mansa in medicine it was a reputed medicine for malaria and dysentry, as also treatment for swollen gums and soar throat. It also prevents build up of kidney stones. Dried roots can be used as dusting powder for for diaper rashes and other infected parts. Leaves are often used to make poultice to relieve muscle swelling and inflammation.
Wow!! such a beautiful, delicate inflorescence. Liked the colors and architecture. No wonder it was once fashioned into cylindrical necklace by American Indiands. This is "The Flora picture of 2011" for me Liked it a lot.
Nice picture sir. Looks very close to Houttuynia cordata. Does the leaf have similar aroma? Edible too??
Houttuynia cordata is a South East Asian plant which has much broader leaves cordate at base, and involucre bracts are usually 4 in number.
Perhaps I can now add another picture of Anemopsis to show leaves and habit.
Yes sir, I was aware of this fact. Just wanted to know about the aromatic properties of your plant. Thanks for adding the habit picture.
Did you also take in the surrounding and soil type?



 
 
 
 
 
 
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